Phoenician letter correspondences & Astrological considerations


The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts

Thanks a lot! Amazon has "2 Used from $3,999.00". I wonder that a theory that is supposed so viable as to preclude the necessity of even considering the more rational 19th-century approach should be so difficult to track down the justification for. (But, who knows, I may win the lottery soon and order it anyway.)

In regard to finding the book The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts By Gordon J. Hamilton:

Published by:
Catholic Biblical Quarterly-Monograph Series (CBQMS)
Here are links to the list of all volumes:

Look for Number 40 by Gordon J. Hamilton
The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts, 2006
Order online, or Email, or phone (probably a good idea) or write:

Catholic Biblical Quarterly-Monograph Series (CBQMS)
433 Caldwell Hall, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064
The book with shipping and administrative costs should be less than $3,999.00.

A review of The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts
by Grace Jeongyeon Park at:

THE ORIGINS OF THE WEST SEMITIC ALPHABET IN EGYPTIAN SCRIPTS. By Gordon J. Hamilton. CBQMS 40. Pp. xxv + 433. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2006. Paper, $18.00.

The book review by Grace Jeongyeon Park provides an overview of Hamilton’s work as well as shortcomings that she and others have noted. In her review, Park states, “Hamilton's work consists of two major steps: (1) the formal description of every known attestation of a given Proto-Canaanite letter and the range of possible hieroglyphic and hieratic antecedents for the letter in question, and (2) an arrangement of the source materials into a relative chronological sequence on the basis of the degree to which the Proto-Canaanite forms diverge from their Egyptian precursors.”

“Ever since the discovery and limited decipherment of the West Semitic inscriptions from Serebit el-Khadem at the beginning of the twentieth century, the small corpus of so-called Proto-Canaanite and somewhat later Old Canaanite inscriptions has gradually expanded over the intervening years…”

“… the discovery of two Proto-Canaanite inscriptions at Wadi el-Hol in Egypt, and it was this new find that largely inspired Gordon Hamilton to publish a thorough revision of his 1985 Harvard dissertation ("The Development of the Early Alphabet").”
- Grace Jeongyeon Park

A comprehensive review of Gordon’s book by Brian Edric Colless can be found at:

by Brian Edric Colless

I agree with the Colless’s statement:
“Note that in my view not every letter of the proto-alphabet had an Egyptian counterpart; and all certainly did not survive into the Greco-Roman alphabet.”

Colless points out that Hamilton made possible misidentifications of alphabetic symbols in relation to Egyptian scripts and provides his own table of correspondences.

Another article by Colless on the origin of the alphabet: EARLY EVOLUTION OF THE ALPHABET


It's funny: Martin Bernal, in his book Cadmean Letters, seems to dismiss the Proto-Sinaitic origin as unworthy even of discussion, in spite of his being the grandson of Sir Alan Gardiner himself, the great Egyptologist who dreamed up the theory in the first place (whose Egyptian Grammar I have and consider the definitive source for hieroglyphics).

Discoveries of so-called Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite alphabet inscriptions in Egypt has changed the discussion about the origins of the alphabet.
- Cartomancer (Lance Carter)

TůRo cards

Where the Tarot really breaks away from "letters" is in the Minor Arcana, but that is another subject.
Latecomer to this thread and still in the process of catching up here, but I just thought I'd comment on the above quote from Fulgour. Personally, I found that the astrological decans and their associations with Minor Arcana cards and Ibn Arabi's correspondences between the 28 lunar mansions and the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet enables an historical correspondence between at least some of the Minors and alphabet letters. And as Arabic is another daughter alphabet of Phoenician and 56 is twice 28, I didn't find making correspondences with the 28 dominos and the 78 tarot cards by means of alphabetic and astrological correspondences to be too much of a stretch.